George Clooney Franchise Weekend – Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

oceanDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien (Screenplay) George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell (Characters)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner, Ellen Barkin, Andy Garcia

 

Plot: Danny Ocean rounds up the boys for a third heist, after casino owner Willy Bank double-crosses one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: My Favourite of the Series

 

Story: Ocean’s Thirteen starts as Danny (Clooney), Rusty (Pitt) and Linus (Damon) returning to Vegas after Reuben (Gould) gets screwed out of everything he had by ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Pacino). Bringing the team Livingston (Jemison), Basher (Cheadle), Yen (Qin), Virgil (Affleck), Turk (Caan), Frank (Mac) and Saul (Reiner) back to Vegas to give Bank a chance to return the money to Reuben which he refuses.

6 Months later the team are back together looking to pull off a revenge job on the Grand Opening of the casino. With the team in place we get to see how this latest heist unfolds right back where it started, but just how do they pull it off?

 team

Thoughts on Ocean’s Thirteen

 

StoryWhen you see how where the characters have been and how they all came together in the first two films this story feels like the final completion on their jobs. With this story, we have the most personal revenge job as one of their own has been struck by the villainous casino owner, unlike Benedict who has been fair with his ruthlessness Bank takes things past the bounds of fairness. We do get to see role reversal with our characters which adds to the twits along the way. I personally find this the most enjoyable watch of all three of the films.

Crime/ThrillerThe heist side of this film is just as slick as the first film which is just what you want from this film. you are kept guessing to where the heist will go too.

Characters/PerformanceWe know the characters by know and they are all great once again, the inclusion of Willy Bank is good because he is ruthless compared to Benedict but in the negative the loss of Tess is questionable. The performances are all great as each star knows how to make the most of every single scene they are in.

SettingsI am delighted they moved this film back to Vegas because when these characters are looking to rob a casino you love seeing how everything unfolds.

Recommending ScaleI would be giving this the seal of approval and you can Bank on that.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far the most fun the series has and you can find yourself gripped to every scene enjoying the heist unfolding.

 

Overall: This is easily the most enjoyable of the series.

Rating

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George Clooney Franchise Weekend – Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

ocaenDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: George Nolfi (Screenplay) George Clayton Johnson, Jack Glden Russell (Characters)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Catherine Zeta-Jones

 

Plot: Daniel Ocean recruits one more team member so he can pull off three major European heists in this sequel to Ocean’s 11.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks the Style

 

Story: Ocean’s Twelve starts 3 years after the final scene of Ocean’ Eleven and Terry Benedict (Garcia) has tracked down the whole team Danny (Clooney), Tess (Roberts), Virgil (Affleck), Turk (Caan), Yen (Qin), Frank (Mac), Basher (Cheadle), Linus (Damon) Saul (Reiner), Livingston (Jemison) Reuben (Gould) and Rusty (Pitt). Benedict wants his money back with interest.

The team heads to Europe for their latest in a string of heists to repay Benedict and get their lives back but things get complicated when Rusty’s ex-girlfriend Isabel Lahiri (Zeta-Jones) leading the hunt for thieves and now she is targeting Rusty and the rest of Danny’s team, but they find themselves one step behind an infamous thieve the Night Fox.

 

Thoughts on Ocean’s Twelve

 

StoryThe reason why the first Ocean’s film worked was just how small the idea was, one heist one town one vault. This story becomes a competition which isn’t how these characters would act even if they are being chased down by a vengeful Benedict. I did like the idea that Benedict wanted his money back but otherwise I found this story overcomplicated for no reason and just not a slick as the first.

Crime/ThrillerThe heists are what make the crime side of the story but this time we just don’t get sucked into the crime elements of the story.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all like the first time with just Rusty being a lot more like Danny with his old flame being the problem in the heist. The addition of Isabel does add another dimension but really isn’t the most interesting character within the film. the performances are all solid but not to the levels we are used to from the cast.

SettingsWe have far too many settings going on through the film to make us focus on the main story which was one of the highlights of the original film.

Final ThoughtsThis really is a sub-par sequel to an enjoyable first trip with these characters.

 

Overall: Disappointingly sloppy sequel.

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George Clooney Franchise Weekend – Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

oceanDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Ted Griffin (Screenplay) Harry Brown, Charles Lederer (Original Screenplay)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin

 

Plot: Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slick, Stylish Heist Film

 

Story: Ocean’s Eleven starts with Danny Ocean (Clooney) getting released from prison after his life has fallen apart with his wife leaving him. Danny heading straight to Las Vegas looking for a team to rob three casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Garcia). The team Danny puts together is his right-hand man Rusty (Pitt) blacklisted dealer Frank (Mac) finaceer Reuben (Gould), gadget men Virgil (Affleck) and Turk (Caan), tech guy Livingston (Jemison) acrobat Yen (Qin), senior player Saul (Reiner) explosives expert Basher (Cheadle) and pickpocket Linus (Damon).

With the location set the team set out to prepare for the heist but things take a turn when Rusty learns of Tess (Roberts) involvement with Benedict as this has turned into a revenge mission against his ex-wife.

 

Thoughts on Ocean’s Eleven

 

StoryThe story is about the heist going on with the careful planning that goes into everything. we do get the slip ups along the way which makes it all fun to watch and with the pacing being almost perfect you barely notice the time fly by. We have a film that builds the character to make everyone important to the heist.

Crime/ThrillerWhen you go into heist films you always have an expectation level and this one nails it on every single level as we are all kept guessing to what the next trick up the guys sleeves will be.

Characters/PerformanceDanny is a great leading character that is filled with charisma and with the tea he puts together you care and are interested in all their stories. Terry Benedict makes for a great villain who people are all looking to get one over. It is the Tess character I have most issues with in this film because she is made out to be mostly a money grabber. The performances are all fantastic because we get Clooney leading the film with ease but each of the supporting characters know exactly just how much screen time they are getting and how to make the most of each and every scene they are in.

SettingsThe film is set inside Vegas with most of the set inside the casino as we see the planning and execution of the plan in its full.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far one of the finest heist movies you will be lucky enough to ever see.

 

Overall: Enjoy the heist unfold.

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Paul Walker Weekend – Into The Blue (2005)

logoDirector: John Stockwell

Writer: Matt Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin, James Frain, Tyson Beckford, Dwayne Adway

Plot: A group of divers find themselves in deep trouble with a drug lord after they come upon the illicit cargo of a sunken airplane.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Deep Sea Dribble

Story: Into the Blue starts with a plane going down during a storm where it crashes into the ocean lost at sea. Now we meet our main characters Jared (Walker) a diving instructor who takes tourists on dives, Sam (Alba) who works with sharks on a tourist sea life. This makes us have a madly in love leading couple. We meet treasure hunter Bates (Brolin) who Jared once worked for and is always ready to offer Jared a job back. When hot shot lawyer friend Bryce (Caan) turns up with new flame Amanda (Scott) Jared finds himself with a new boat as the four go out and enjoy the sun, sea and the dive.

The friends discover the plane from the opening scene and a shipment of drugs leaving the friends to decide to try and figure out what to do with the discovery. Jared and Sam convince the other two to explore the area for historical treasure before reporting the plane where the friends discover treasure that will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Everything takes a turn an hour into the film when Bryce & Amanda try to sale the drugs back to the dealer Reyes (Frain) who ends up forcing them into retrieving his drugs in 12 hours or he kills everyone he loves.

Into the Blue is clearly a film that ended up going on too long, mainly because we have a good hour of the story where we just see our four characters diving and deciding whether to search for the treasure or not. Literally no villain is introduced until around the hour mark which makes us lose a lot interest in what is happening. Once the villain is introduced we end up with a good action thriller that keep you guessing that does have a few questionable fights. I feel if you cut around half the opening pointless diving out we would have a much more interesting film. (6/10)

Actor Review

Paul Walker: Jared is the experienced diver who wants to go into treasure hunting with his girlfriend Sam, when his old friend joins them on the island of the Bahamas they go in search a good time where they discover a treasure. Jared is an honest man who will protect his men but is also ambitious. Paul does a good job showing he could be a leading man in the industry with this role. (7/10)jared

Jessica Alba: Sam is Jared’s girlfriend who works in the world of sea life where she gives talks on sharks to tourist. She is an experienced diver too where she ends up helping in the treasure hunt but on the honest side of the law. Jessica brings her beauty to the role where she gets to play the good girl girlfriend. (7/10)sam

Scott Caan: Bryce is the lawyer friend of Jared & Sam’s who comes to the island with a new fling for a good old catch up with his old friends. He is very crazy with his money where he has got to the level where he does spend to impress, he makes the bad decision with his new fling to try and deal with them about the rugs they have discovered. Scott ends up playing that friend that always gets you into trouble well. (7/10)bryce

Ashley Scott: Amanda is the free styling girlfriend who is a loose cannon from the start, she likes to party and could easily be the reason why everything gets out of hand. She doesn’t think about the others with any decision she makes. Ashley does a solid job in this role being the almost villain in the piece when it comes to dealing with the three friends. (6/10)amanda

Josh Brolin: Bates is a fellow treasure hunter who doesn’t always play by the rules when he is working on ideas, but he does have honour when it comes to fellow divers. Well his surface looks like an honest guy but he really is working with Reyes. Josh brings the role of the nice guy villain to the forefront showing he was ready to start making a serious impact in Hollywood. (7/10)bats

James Frain: Reyes is the drug dealer who plane has crash landed in the ocean, he ends up blackmailing Jared into bringing him is drugs back in 12 hours or he will kill everyone he loves. James only appears in one scene where he does make an impact. (6/10)

Support Cast: Into the Blue has a supporting cast that includes the drug dealers and their men along with the honest folks of the island that help Jared, they all become generic without making a really impact in the final story.

Director Review: John StockwellJohn brings us a solid action thriller that does have a few longer than needed scenes but will satisfy the fans of the stars. (6/10)

Action: Into the Blue is very generic even if they try to make parts under water fights and chases which doesn’t quite work. (5/10)

Thriller: Into the Blue doesn’t pull you in until the final half of the film where things get a lot more interesting. (6/10)

Settings: Into the Blue uses the Bahamas as its setting which works for the idea behind the film perfectly. (10/10)

Suggestion: Into the Blue is one for the action fans to try, I do think the fans of the stars will enjoy but I know for a fact I would rather watch Fool’s Gold again. (Try It)

Best Part: Final kill.

Worst Part: First half.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Fool’s Gold

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $18 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Temptation is bliss

Overall: Underwater action film that nearly drowns before being saved but left adrift

Rating 55